H.O.W.L. Transition Program students attend the main A-State campus in Jonesboro, Arkansas. All general student services, academic services, and social events available at A-State will be open to the H.O.W.L. program students.
Upon completion of H.O.W.L., students will be better prepared to enter the workplace in their communities. The student will have learned work readiness skills, employability skills, social skills, and have received work experience. The core classes in the program provide the students with the skills they need to be successful in today’s workforce.
The anticipated outcomes for H.O.W.L. students are:
- Gainful Employment - Students who complete the H.O.W.L. Transistion Program will be better prepared for the workforce having gained job seeking skills, a knowledge of work etiquette, and skills specific to their chosen specialty area.
- Socialization - Through participating in a fully inclusive college experience, the students will gain interpersonal skills that will benefit them both vocationally and socially.
- Self-esteem - The very act of completing the requirements needed to receive the HOWL to Independence Certificate of Achievement will provide the students with a greater sense of self-worth and self-esteem. This will be measured by using pre/post interview/PATH data. The students will have supports including mentors, advisors, H.O.W.L. staff and needed resources; however, it will be expected that as they progress through the program, they will become increasingly more independent. This independence should expand beyond the college setting and into all areas of their lives.
Courses offered to audit in this program are part of the A-State regular course offerings and are open to all A-State students. As participants in campus life, HOWL students will have the opportunity to be a part of the A-State experience- academically and socially. Whenever possible, natural supports through voluntary peer mentors and Americans with Disabilities (ADA) classroom accommodations will be used, changing the college culture to one of inclusiveness where diversity is valued. Independent living skills and self-advocacy will be explicitly supported to enrich each student’s experience and improve individual achievement.
The components of the program include an individually determined program of study for each student, based on that student’s career goals, peer and natural supports, and the involvement of students in more than just academic classes, especially in extracurricular and other campus activities to facilitate social relationships and friendships on campus. Great attention is given to providing academic coaches and mentors on campus to coordinate individualized supports and to assist students applying for financial supports.
Faculty and staff members who will work with the H.O.W.L. students will be supported by the H.O.W.L. coordinator and our Office of Access and Accommodations. Professors will be provided with the training and resources they will need to track student progress. Modified syllabi will be offered to students with ID who are participating in an audit status, but syllabi will not be modified for ASD students taking courses for credit.
The H.O.W.L. Program will use a peer mentoring system to enhance the student’s classroom and social experiences. A peer mentor is another student who can assist a student who may still be developing the skills for independence, such as a student with a disability. Students in HOWL will receive academic counseling from A-State advisors along with staff members from HOWL who are trained to address the educational needs of people with intellectual disabilities. The curriculum for each student will be individualized to incorporate the approved core classes of HOWL, as well as approved elective classes that are in the student’s area of interest.